Like Sandra Dee, this week’s ‘Glee’ was lousy with virginity. Expectations were high after promos showed Rachel, Finn, Kurt and Blaine all getting their sexy on… but as it happened, ‘The First Time’ was kind of disappointing.
Unfortunately, West Side Story just doesn’t lend itself to this theme the way Madonna does. The season one tribute to the Queen of Pop covered similar territory and featured “Like a Virgin,” the most perfect song for the occasion. More importantly, the subject of de-flowering came up naturally and organically. Conversely, this week’s sudden sexual awakening isn’t motivated by raging hormones, curiosity, or even peer pressure, in the traditional sense of it. These kids want to lose their virginity for the sake of their high school musical, which obviously is preposterous. Kurt and Blaine, and Rachel and Finn are two couples that have been in solid relationships all season. They are high school seniors who have collectively had sex a total of one time. Yet, the topic is off the table until Artie suggests that ‘West Side Story’ is all about sexual awakening and to perform it well, the male and female leads need to get laid. Since the adults directing the show are Coach Beiste and Miss Pilsbury, and their sexual experience is also non-existent, Artie’s interpretation of the show stands and the seductions commence.
Well, actually, we make a quick stop at Blaine’s old stomping ground/ the Warblers home base and are treated to a pleasant performance of Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl,” with a Parker Posey look-alike who can’t resist doing a few dance steps with the choir boys before going back to not existing. Nothing in this scene means anything until Blaine meets the Warbler who replaced him and is a little too impressed with his successor. This contrivance results in some tension between Blaine and Kurt, but mainly exists to create a weak parallel to the West Side Story song, “A Boy Like That.”
The rest of the hour similarly shoehorned songs from the musical into the virginity storylines. “America” was a welcome exception, and a performance that we were simply allowed to enjoy. My hopes for the West Side Story show within the show, and the related plotlines had been high, and ultimately the pay-off wasn’t there. Mike Chang’s father disowns him for doing the musical and he maybe got five seconds of stage/screen time! At least he and Tina had that magical first time together (also off-screen) over the summer.
Back to Blaine and Rachel, who have both arrived on opening night as card-carrying virgins. At this point I half expected the show to make them attempt to get together, which thankfully did not happen. (Though I suspect it would have if they hadn’t already gone down this dead end road last season.) Instead, Rachel points out that ‘West Side Story’ is really about two soul mates that get together against all odds and she and Blaine should concentrate on playing that angle. Apparently, this works out well and everyone puts on a great show.
We see glimpses of Blaine and Rachel singing “One Hand, One Heart” on-stage intercut with scenes of them later that night, in bed with their men. At this point, everyone has learned from their mistakes and is committed to losing their virginity for the “right reasons,” so I think we’re to assume that’s what happens. Maybe we’ll find out in two weeks. It looks like next week we are going back to the other set of storylines and dealing with the rival glee clubs and Puck kissing Ms Corcoran… which is great because last week’s episode was way better than this one and they’re singing Adele!
Until then, what did you think about this week’s show? Did you like the virgin stories? Do you think both couples went through with it? How’d you feel about the return of Karofsky? How about Beiste’s new boyfriend? Let us know!